Here we are, the next morning, exhausted, weary and relieved. We have calm though we want to believe we are safe again. This morning I went to Watertown, to Mount Auburn Street, talked to my pals, the grocery store owners, and to shoppers I did not know. I was among Armenians mostly, almost all of them immigrants from war-torn places in the world, as were the Tsarnaev brothers. Many of them had endured years of civil war, of living in basement shelters, of making do with half a loaf of bread for the day, of no electricity or heat or cooking gas. Those were the people who were now out of the streets and grocery stores of Watertown, no doubt happy to be free of the old nightmares which had returned for a day to our shores, the old nightmares they thought they had left behind for good. Eternal safety is a mirage. That’s what the immigrants the world over know in the marrow of their bones.
No doubt there will be more commentary, analysis, chatter regarding our Boston week from hell. Most of it will not be worth reading, or watching, or listening to. That’s the nature of mass culture, which the US has perfected to a (bad) art form. The magnanimity of the event naturally calls for much reflection, analysis, recommendations, but who to read and how to read will have have to be chosen carefully and with a critical eye, now that the emotions will give way to thinking.
This morning, a friend sent this: Quiet & peace is granted back to your city.
Keep your day calm.
Reflect on nature.
The weather will be perfect in the next few days for a walk in downtown Boston, along Comm Ave to enjoy the April cherry blossoms. It’s always like this, the other is at our heel, behind us, sometimes in us. Quiet and peace, yes, in whose wake we can begin to re-center our lives, to return from the formless, edgeless extremes.
I have resolved not to get caught up in the frenzy, to bring my thoughts back to their path, to think clearly about all this now that the emotions have left me depleted, but most of all not to personalize the events of the past week, not to reduce them (in the fashion of pop-psychology and bad political analysis) to how I felt. It’s a tall order, but that’s the only order worth following now that the massive hunt has ended, now that we can go out into the streets again, now that one evildoer is dead and the other in custody. ~~